I am a qualified riding instructor and have worked in the veterinary industry as either a nurse or in the office for more years than I care to remember! Horses are a big part of my life and I have worked with polo ponies in the past , travelling to France with them where our team won the Deauville Gold Cup!
Further equine experience includes working with international show jumpers, even travelling to Europe with them, and working on a Thoroughbred stud where I foaled down over 40 mares!
Name: Melland Queen of Scots (Diva)
Breed: Shetland Pony
Height: 40 inches
Age: 6 (born 2017)
Name: First Light (Mabel)
Breed: Show Cob
Age: 25 (born 1998)
Name: Dreamspinner (Florence)
Breed: Cob cross
Age: 10 (born in 2013) She is Mabel’s daughter.
What age did you start riding?
I started riding regularly at a local riding school from 6 years old and got my own pony when I was 10.
Which disciplines do you take part in?
I competed in show jumping to Foxhunter level and then took a sidestep into showing when a show jumping-bred foal I bought had no love for the game but had done well with me as a youngster in hand at county level.
I was then hooked on showing and have won at county and national level in Ridden Coloured, Ridden Cob and Working Hunter classes as well as in hand.
Every show horse I have owed was either bought as a foal or, if an adult, was unshown before I got them. I have produced them myself and held my own against the professionals which is no mean feat.
Mabel who I bought as an unshown 5-year-old is now retired but we regularly competed at the Royal International Horse Show and won at county and national level, including the Royal Norfolk Show and the BSPA National Championships.
I am now showing Diva in affiliated classes at county level with numerous wins, most notably winning the Yeld Mare Class at the Royal Highland Show in 2022 and going on to become Champion Female Shetland. Some of the top Shetland pony studs had mares in the class, so that made it even more special.
Florence had an extensive in hand career as a youngster winning and being placed at county shows and National Championships. She is currently doing Working Hunter classes and lives with my sister Michelle.
What is your favourite aspect of horse ownership?
I do love competing but have always enjoyed being with my horses at home just as much. Now Mabel is retired I am having fun walking Diva out and about around the lanes.
What is your least favourite aspect of horse ownership?
My least favourite aspect is winter mud! My area is mostly heavy clay and so it gets very muddy and slippery when it is wet.